Aug 11 2010 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Knight and Day
KNIGHT and Day is an action comedy starring box office powerhouses Tom Cruise (Roy) and Cameron Diaz (June).
June’s life is transformed when she bumps into secret agent Roy in an airport and both are faced with a battle to elude government officials after Roy. But is Roy all that he seems?
I have to say I didn’t fancy Knight and Day much after seeing its trailer and the full-length movie that follows lives up to those low expectations.
It is such an uneven film that tries to, unsuccessfully, cram in several genres and live off its main stars’ names and reputations.
A look at director James Mangold’s back catalogue finds some terrific work (Identity, Girl Interrupted, Cop Land), which makes this film seem like even more of a misstep.
Cruise is by far the highlight. Exuding charm and swagger, this is a fun pastiche of his Mission: Impossible and Top Gun personas.
With this and his recent escapades as fake studio executive Les Grossman, Cruise seems to be more than willing to send himself up these days, and is much more watchable for it.
Diaz is back in ‘fluffy,’ innocent mode after a misguided serious role in last year’s terrible The Box but isn’t half as good as Cruise and suffers from a severely underwritten character.
Peter Sarsgaard (Fitzgerald) struggles to get out of first gear as the agent on Roy’s tale. He is nowhere near as effective as Jason Patric and Patrick Wilson were in similar roles in this year’s The Losers and The A-Team respectively.
Knight and Day suffers from pointless plot strands (a wedding), and some intriguing ideas, like Roy being mentally unstable and a fake agent, don’t go anywhere.
An accordion-packed score brings memories of the Latin dance sequences in the similar, and superior, True Lies and Mr & Mrs Smith.
A running gag sees Roy knocking June out with a sedative to avoid the action. This results in clever visuals where June takes in sights and sounds of a warehouse shoot-out climax, prisoner escape, sky dive and boat ride in quick succession.
Hi-jinks on a plane and the subsequent crash also register highly on the quality scale but the film veers too unsteadily between serious and spoof.
Roy also disappears for a large chunk of the latter stages and the movie almost comes to a complete halt when he’s not on screen. Diaz cannot carry it on her own.
A late motorcycle chase through Seville sees some surprises (bulls!) but is curiously uninvolving considering our lead duo’s lives are on the line.
Knight and Day is one of the strangest blockbusters you’ll come across and is only worth a watch for Cruise’s charisma.
Oh, and one last thing; the film’s title? No real explanation for it. Knight? Yes, we discover that’s Roy’s surname. Day? Nope, no clue.
Rating - 5 out of 10.